The Ohio woman who disappeared during a vacation to North Carolina with her on-again-off-again boyfriend expressed some hesitation about taking the trip with the man who reportedly had a prior domestic violence conviction involving her.
Lynn Jackenheimer of Ashland, Ohio, went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina last week with her boyfriend, Nate Summerfield, and her two children, but didn't return with them.
Summerfield pleaded no contest in February 2010 and received a suspended 60-day jail sentence and one year of intensive probation, The Mansfield News Journal reported. Jackenheimer was granted a temporary protection order, the report said.
"I do know at one point she told Nate she was thinking about not going," Alex Taylor, a friend of Jackenheimer, told Fox8.com. "He got quite upset about that and then the trip was back on."
"I know he had done things to her in the past. He had hurt her in more ways than one," Taylor said. "If I really thought she was in danger, we wouldn’t have let her go."
A few of Jackenheimer’s family members said they are headed to the Tar Heel State to search for the mother of two.
"We keep reassuring Jackenheimer’s family that this is far from a cold case here. But part of me hopes that Summerfield just pulls up in the [sheriff] station’s parking lot."
- Carl L. Richert, the captain from Ashland Sheriff’s Department
"Can't keep waiting before it’s way too late," Raymond Johnson, Jackenheimer's stepfather, told Fox8.com. "We need to find her now. I ain't gonna accomplish anything, but we're just, can't keep sitting around doing nothing."
Police said Summerfield, 27, returned his girlfriend's children to Ohio Sunday and left them with his family.
Carl L. Richert, the captain from Ashland Sheriff’s Department, told FoxNews.com Thursday that he shares the family’s frustration with lack of evidence.
He said little has changed in the investigation. At any given time, there are six detectives working the case and authorities are obtaining search warrants to conduct further investigations.
"We keep reassuring Jackenheimer’s family that this is far from a cold case here," he said. "But part of me hopes that Summerfield just pulls up in the [sheriff] station’s parking lot."
Summerfield, who allegedly told his brother Sunday that he killed Jackenheimer, is considered a person of interest in a missing person's case, Richert said.
Relevant evidence, other than Summerfield’s cellphone and ATM records, has been few and far between.
The Dare County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina, where the couple vacationed, said it's assisting in the investigation and is planning a Tuesday search.
Steve Hoggard, the chief deputy of the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, told FoxNews.com that authorities have been searching beaches and roads where the couple recently stayed.
Hoggard described some beach areas as challenging because of the thick scrub brush in some areas.
"Some of these beaches are perfect spot to dump something you don't want somebody to find," he said. He said local authorities are keeping an eye out for the person of interest and trying to contact anyone who may know the couple, since they vacationed at the area a few times before.
Jackenheimer works at Beer Barrel in Ashland and did not report to work on Monday, Dean Emmons, her boss, said. He offered $1,000 of his own money as a reward to find Jackenheimer and Summerfield.
The two children, ages 3 and 13, are not much help with the investigation because they have been largely "kept in the dark" about a lot of things, Richert told Fox8.com. Relatives said the children understand their mom is missing.
Businesses in Jackenheimer's hometown are offering more than $7,000 in rewards for information about the whereabouts of the woman or her boyfriend.
Fox News' Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report